Celebrate Financial Awareness Day with Document Shredding
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What do Oprah Winfrey, Jim Carrey, and Leonardo DiCaprio have in common? They came from a financially poor upbringing and had enough desire to escape it. DiCaprio grew up poor in a neighborhood plagued with prostitution, crime, and violence. Oprah spent her first six years living in rural poverty, wearing dresses made of potato sacks. When Jim Carrey was eight, his family became homeless, living in a van while Jim and his brother lived in a tent in a park.
You don’t have to go from rags to riches or become famous to be financially stable. You just need the desire to manage both your income and spending while protecting your savings.
Do you fall into any of these categories?
- 68% of US families don’t maintain a household budget
- 20% of Americans don’t save any of their annual income
- 50% of American households live paycheck to paycheck
- 58% of Americans have less than $1000 saved
- 21% of Americans don’t shred any of their personal documents
If you fall into any of these categories, have no fear: Financial Awareness Day is on August 14th and is dedicated to helping you understand finances and preparing you for financial stability. Below are some tips to help you get started.
Start a Basic Household Budget
A budget is just a guide to help you make sure that your bills are paid and that you aren’t spending more than you are making. To get started, itemize all of your expenses so that you know exactly how much must be paid and when. If you are paid monthly, estimate how much is required monthly for each expense regardless of when they are due. This will help you compare your monthly income to monthly expenses. If expenses are higher than income, you will need to find ways to either decrease the expenses that have some flexibility, such as entertainment, or consider ways to increase your income, which can be more difficult. If you are fortunate to have more income than expenses, consider our next recommendation.
By saving for the future, you can make sure that you have money put away for an emergency, a desired item, necessary project, and—just as important—your retirement. By designating a small amount on a regular basis, it adds up over time. For example, if you can set aside just $5 per day, you will save over $1,800 in a year, and saving $28 per day will add up to $10,000 in a year.
By putting the money you have saved into an interest-bearing account, it will continue to build over time. The sooner you set up a system of saving, the better. Ask your employer if they offer and/or contribute to a 401(k), pension, or Employee Savings Plan (ESP). Having money deducted from your paycheck, can be an easy way to help you save for your future.
Start Protecting Your Savings
It would be disastrous to see your hard-earned savings be stolen. Reported fraud losses in the US increased 44% from 2021 to 2022. Identity theft is the number one form of financial fraud. It is therefore important that you protect your money while saving it. Thieves are always digging for valuable information like your name, birthdate, Social Security Number, driver license number, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and much more. To safeguard your finances and identity, have all paperwork shredded instead of just tossing them in recycle bin or trash can. By properly shredding all discarded documents, you make it impossible for a thief to steal them. Follow this rule: “To avoid overlooking anything, shred everything.”
Get Outside Help
It’s tempting to shred your own documents at home, but your shredder lacks the industrial power, expertise, and ability that a professional shredding company has to render your information unreconstructible. In addition, while your waste management company likely cannot accept DIY shredded material in the curbside recycling stream, a professional shredding company works directly with paper recyclers and can recycle 100% of the paper they shred.
Wiggins Shredding offers secure shredding services to the residents and businesses of Pennsylvania and Tri-State Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. We recycle all shredded paper so you can protect your finances and the environment. For shredding questions or a quote, give us a call at 610-692-TEAR (8327) or complete the form on this page. We look forward to hearing from you!